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"Brownfields" grant will aid Poudre corridor cleanup

Release Date: 5/18/2000
Contact Information:
Kathie Atencio (303) 312-6803 Todd Chaudry (303) 312-7074 Nancy Mueller (303) 312-6602

      DENVER– Cleanup and redevelopment of Ft. Collins’ Downtown

      Poudre River corridor received a $250,000 boost today with the

      announcement in Washington of a “Brownfields” assessment grant to

      the City from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

One of 56 grants totaling more than $12 million nationally, the money will allow the City to assess contamination among some of the 120 separate parcels in the 352 acres that make up the corridor over the next 24 months. Known environmental problems and the specter of unknown conditions create a stigma that discourages capital investment in the area, according to the City's application.

The area houses the main concentration of rail lines in the city, current and former mills, underground storage tanks some of which are known to be leaking, landfills, hazardous waste treatment facilities and two sites once evaluated for possible Superfund listing. In addition, the riverbanks have received litter, construction debris and illegal dumps. Some $50,000 of the grant comes under a "greenspace" provision that channels funds toward reclaiming lands that will ultimately become parks or open space.

Brownfields grants themselves are part of the nation's Superfund Program which drives cleanups of hazardous waste sites. Brownfields are idled, abandoned or under-used industrial or business sites where redevelopment is complicated by possible contamination. Fears of liability and cleanup costs often thwart reuse plans. Development then goes elsewhere, leaving parcels behind to slide into blight.

Over the last few years, the Agency has helped more than 300 communities to leverage nearly $1.9 billion to clean up and redevelop tainted properties, creating nearly 6,000 jobs in the process.

Sites that are identified as needing cleanup will be handled through the Voluntary Cleanup Program administered by the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment, according to the City's application. The City itself owns about a third of the land in the corridor.

Some of the money will be used in outreach efforts to involve property owners, neighbors, community and interest groups in decision making in the corridor.

Project contact:
Tom Shoemaker, Director
Natural Resources Department
(970) 221-6600